Clickers for Large Class Teaching
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Clickers for Large Class Teaching



Powerpoint file from presentation at Plymouth E-learning Conference 2011

Powerpoint file from presentation at Plymouth E-learning Conference 2011



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Clickers for Large Class Teaching Clickers for Large Class Teaching Presentation Transcript

  • Clickers for large class teaching
    Supporting Academic Staff
    at NUI Galway, Ireland
    Sharon Flynn &
    Fiona Concannon
    CELT, NUI Galway
  • Context of Higher Education in Ireland
    • Growth in student numbers at undergraduate level
    • Concern about lack of student participation
    • Poor retention of first year students (non-presence rates of 11%), especially in Science, Agriculture and Veterinary (HEA, 2010)
    • Anecdotal concerns around decreased student performance at end of year exams
  • Clickers for Student Engagement in Large Class Teaching
  • Other Irish pilot studies
    • In Ireland…
    • Johnson and Lillis (2010)- UL
    • McLoughlin (2008) – DCU
    • Bowe & Cowan (2004) – DIT
    • Surgenor (2010) - UCD
    • And beyond…
    • Mazur, Bruff, Caldwell, Fies & Marshcall.
    • Caldwell (2007) notes, “The reviews of the literature, however, also agree that much of the research so far is not systematic enough to permit scientific conclusions about what causes the benefits”.
  • NUI Galway First Year Pilot
    • Distributed 762 “eInstruction cricket” devices to incoming first year undergraduate science students
    • Over 40 RF receivers distributed to members of academic staff
    • Installed software in lecture theatres
  • First Year Curriculum
    • 60 ECTS, Full Time, Level 8
    • 3 x 1 hour-long lectures and lab practical sessions per week
    • Core modules:
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry
    • Other modules:
    • Biomedical Science
    • Earth & Ocean Sciences
    • Environmental Science
    • Financial Maths & Economics
    • Computer Science
  • How was the technology adopted?
  • Used in large classes
    • Class size varied between 100 and 300 students
    • Mixed variety of use in practice, depending on
    • discipline
    • individual lecturer
    • organisation of teaching within the module
    • Not used in lab sessions or practical sessions
  • Adoption of clickers for staff
    • Mapping the technology to the existing teaching practices
    • Process of transforming the underlying pedagogy to accommodate for increased interaction (whether discussion, conceptualisation or reflection)
  • Supporting Staff
  • Support and Training
    • Training Workshops (6)
    • Workshops with practitioners (3)
    • Group meetings (3)
    • Resource website and recordings
    • Individual support (4)
    • In-lecture standby (9)
  • Training
  • The Reported Experience
    By students and by academic staff
  • Student Feedback
    N=272 (35% response rate)
  • Student Reported Frequency of Use in Lectures
  • What is good about using clickers?
  • What is not good about using clickers?
  • Gaps
    • Marks for participation
    • Attendance monitoring and concerns over data and privacy
    • “Covering the material”
    • “Interrupting the flow”
    • Mixed cohort groups as a barrier to use?
    • Balancing academic buy-in vs. promoting consistency of use
  • Lessons learned
    Where to from here…
  • What did the students say?
    Worth using clickers again?
  • What would improve your experience of using clickers?
  • Conclusions
    • Adoption of the technology is unique to the culture and context within the discipline
    • Experience of experts is very persuasive
    • Staff looking for “just-in-time” support
    • In supporting staff, need to listen to both staff and student voices
    • Overwhelmingly positive student feedback
    • Need for evolving improvements in question design and pedagogic strategies adopted
    • Minimise technical breakdowns
    • It’s the journey, not the destination…